This is the 3rd year of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, and this year it will be hosted in one of the most vibrant startup scenes in Asia — Seoul, South Korea. For those who have yet to get a taste the excitement and energy of the tech scene in Asia, Seoul is perfect introduction. With super fast free (unlike China) wireless internet covering the entire country and massive government funding for startups, it is a techy’s fantasy land.
Students from all over the world will spend six frenetic days in the heart of Seoul’s tech district developing a real startup to be pitched to a panel of investors on the program’s final Demo Day. MIT faculty and startup founders will provide invaluable expertise through intense one-on-one coaching and mentorship during the program’s duration. Past Bootcamp alumni startups have gone on to win critical acclaim and funding, such as City Taps, that recently won Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award and $500k in funding.
The Quick Details
When is it?
Bootcamp: March 20-25, 2016
Where is it?
Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea
Who is it for?
The program acceptance is very selective. Applications will be evailuated based on:
Focus on excellence
Contribution to community
Team & cultural fit
Anyone over 18 at the time of the Bootcamp can apply.
January 18, 2016 11:59 PM (Boston time)
Scholarship deadline: December 31, 2015 11:59 PM (Boston time)
Q&A with Andrew Ngui, Program Manager and former MIT Bootcamp alumni
Andrew Ngui, one of the program’s managers and former alumni, took some time to answer some questions about his experience and work with the Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. The interview can be read below.
What is the mission of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp?
MIT has opened its doors to entrepreneurs around the world to learn innovation-driven entrepreneurship in the spirit of mens et manus. Entrepreneurs selected to attend will be expected to start a company in one week, a lofty challenge designed to test their resolve to achieve the impossible and pitch their startup to a panel of investors, giving them a taste of “drinking from a firehose” that all MIT students experience.
What is the Bootcamp schedule like? What do the students learn?
Admission to the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is highly selective and based on the following five criteria: focus on excellence, initiative, contribution to community, team & cultural fit and entrepreneurship potential. The bootcamp is an intense residential experience that combines the academic rigor and application of MIT’s entrepreneurship education where bootcampers will:
Experience 2 years of startup life in 6 days
Launch a venture in one week
Receive intensive one-on-one coaching from experienced MIT faculty, startup founders, and alumni
Pitch your team’s startup idea to investors on Demo Day
What are the demographics of the students who attend the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp?
Curious and aspiring entrepreneurs as well as mid-career professionals who are thinking about entrepreneurship as a viable career path and interested in getting a taste of the MIT experience and startup life should apply. Additionally entrepreneurs who have already started on their journey in creating new ventures would also benefit most from the rigorous and intense experience.
What kind of past MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp successes can you share?
Class 1, 2014
- CityTaps, a social enterprise that provides clean water to the urban poor, just won $500k in non-dilutive equity from the 2015 Verizon Powerful Answers Award. Two of the co-founders (Australia & France), met at the bootcamp.
- Elio is focused on diagnosing and curing crop disease raised $500k in private equity funding.
- Renee Rock and Mateo Nakach are using the flipped classroom model to teach MIT’s brand of entrepreneurship in California & Mexico respectively
- Some other startups formed by bootcampers include:
- Asiahub HK, a next-gen impex startup that seeks to reduce throughout the supply chain and create a seamless end-to-end logistics service. The co-founders (Brazil & Mexico), met at the bootcamp.
- Hacklab India is building hackerspaces in India to provide easily accessible technology centers with resources and guidance, enabling people to work on their product ideas and solve challenging societal and technological problems
- Onbo, a step by step e-learning tool which inspires to have Olympian mindset at work and personal life
- Global Entrepreneurs, a network of vibrant and diverse entrepreneurs from around the world.
Class 2, 2015
mDocs, a new an innovative way to gain unfettered 24/7 access to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The founder, Imo Etuk tweaked his pitch the week after the bootcamp and won $50k non-dilutive seed funding at the African Diaspora Marketplace III Awards 2015.
Nextwave Technology, a high-tech startup founded by Yen Pei Tay, acquired Kiddy Track to strengthen its wearable portfolio.
Tony Cueva, co-founder for Drop, a startup that improves the quality of life of people with hyperhidrosis won the Startup Peru competition.
Chris Kwekowe, founder of Slatecube, an online platform he started with his younger brother that seeks to solve the unemployment crisis in Nigeria is the 2015 Grand Prize winner of The Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship.
To learn more about the bootcampers, please visit our press page at
For young entrepreneurs, the cost of the Bootcamp ($6000 tuition + travel + living expenses), can be prohibitive. What would you say to these entrepreneurs who are interested, but don’t have a lot of cash on hand?
Consider this as a smart investment for the rest of your life. The bootcamp is the 6 day residential component of a 3 month long entrepreneurship journey with MIT. Post bootcamp, MIT continues to provide mentoring, coaching and entrepreneurial services for 3 months where bootcampers get plugged in to the MIT entrepreneurship eco-system along with regular check-ins with faculty, mentors, alumni, staff and others.
What were you doing at the time when you applied for the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp? What made you decide to sign up?
I was working in a cushy 35h, 4 day a week public sector job but I was frustrated as there was no way to develop my career. I had been searching for the right way forward (personally & professionally) for a while prior to the announcement of the bootcamp. In late 2013, I started out on my mooc journey and discovered entrepreneurship moocs, and in March 2014, signed up for the MIT15390x Who is your Customer mooc because I had always been thinking about learning from MIT.
How would you describe your Bootcamp experience? What were the most important lessons that you learned?
The bootcamp was a transformational experience for me both personally and professionally, for a long time I had felt like I never really fit in (or belonged), despite working in the same field for over 15 years. After overcoming all the challenges to get to MIT for the bootcamp, Sarah Klein a bootcamper in my class said, “I finally found my people.“ This resonated deeply within me. MIT has this innate ability to draw a very specific group of people out of the woodwork from around the world and gather them in a critical mass and make magic happen.
Some of the most important lessons learned were about myself and also about the people I needed to have around me, in addition to knowing what I needed to accomplish to make my heart sing. It is almost like a double sided mirror. Looking inward, one of the application questions helped me evaluate what I was doing with my life and where I was headed. The flip side was that I had to understand what changes needed to be made and had to take steps to execute on them.
What are you doing now? How has the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp shaped your career / entrepreneurial path?
Post bootcamp, I began reaching out to other startups to mentor them based on my creative and design thinking expertise. Prior to the launch of the entrepreneurship moocs the next year, MIT accepted my proposal of having bootcampers volunteer to help with moocs as community teaching assistants. As part of that work, I helped a student in India organize a pilot MITx Entrepreneurship event in Kolkata where we had over 500 students and professors attend a one hour entrepreneurship seminar. The interest of the audience from that event led to a significant increase in enrolment in the moocs. Fast forward to July 2015, I came back at MIT to work with the team to run bootcamps.
What words of advice do you have to people thinking about signing up?
At some point in your life, if you have to do something, this is it. The entrepreneurship journey is often a lonely one but the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp has created a life-long close knit community to journey together.
At the bootcamp, you will be face your limits and learn how to push beyond them, you will experience the intensity of living two years of startup life in six days. You will take issues of conflict and founders dilemmas by the horns and wrestle through them with your team until you find a way forward. Throughout this challenging time, you will be guided and supported by MIT faculty, mentors, alumni and staff, in addition to the other impressive individuals connected with the MIT entrepreneurship eco-system.
How can those who are already planning to participate in the Bootcamp prepare? What can they do to maximize the benefits of the Bootcamp experience?
Complete the MIT15390x & uINOV8X moocs on edX.org, read the book Disciplined Entrepreneurship. Apply what you’ve learned from the courses to your startup pitch, refine your idea and iterate. Learn more about your fellow bootcampers and also don’t forget to spend some time reflecting inwardly. You will get as much out of it as you put into it.
To maximize the benefits of the experience, you will have to know understand yourself and where you need to get to on the next leg of your journey, be flexible and be willing to go with the flow as issues arise in ideation, conflict resolution and other team dynamic issues.